The Youth Wing of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone (ELCSL) is a vibrant group of young men and women between the ages of 15 and 30. The youth have great potential. This group constitutes about sixty percent of the total membership of the ELCSL. The Youths formed the Lutheran Youth Organization in Sierra Leone (LYOSL) with the objective of developing the spiritual, psychological and financial interests of the church. The organization has a National Youth President and other executive members, elected at the National Youth Convention every two years. Membership of the Lutheran Youth Organization consists of all youths from all twenty-three ELCSL congregations. The congregations are divided into two regions: The Northwestern region consists of nine congregations; and the Southeastern region consists of 14 congregations. Both regions also have their Regional Presidents and executives, all elected at regional conventions.
One of the big challenges facing the LYO at present is the difficulty in communication among member youth groups, especially in the southeastern region. Some of the congregations in the Southeast are in remote areas, difficult for mobile network to reach, and with no access to regular public transportation. These factors adversely affect attendance at youth gatherings. Also most of these congregations are the most vulnerable and will need income-generating activities to sustain themselves. In an effort to have representatives from every congregation at youth gatherings, the LYO-SL has refocused its effort in empowering local youth groups at the grassroots level. They believe that empowering local congregations will strengthen the organization. The organization has encouraged local congregations with access to farm land to utilize them to generate funds, and implement proper monitoring of the funds received from these ventures. Fund-raising activities have been outlined by each region, with proceeds from those activities going towards projects in local congregations.
The high rate of youth unemployment in the country does not spare the LYO as most of the youths are either in school with little means to support their education, or unemployed. Given that 60% of the total membership of the church are youths, it is very important to develop this human resource for the future livelihood of the church.
LYO-SL Photo Gallery
Music plays a very important role in the lives of the youth of the ELCSL. Most youths are attracted to churches with contemporary music. In 2010 the NTNL Mission Area donated a musical set to the ELCSL to promote music within the church. The youths set a goal to produce a Gospel musical album as a means of evangelism. Today that project is still ongoing. They are hoping to have a full gospel album out in 2012.